Producing Music with Cubase

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Authored by Ross Ramsay

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Course Code: OMPRD-279

Next Term Starts July 1

Level 2

Level 2

3-Credit Tuition

$1,497

Non-Credit Tuition

$1,250

Producing Music with Cubase provides students with a broad skill set and a fully realized background in music production using the state-of-the-art Cubase software. Designed for professionals from the ground up, Cubase represents the cutting edge of digital audio workstations and provides powerful sonic tools that can be used to produce any style of music imaginable. This course begins with an introduction to the working environments and capabilities of Cubase. Students will learn to record and edit MIDI and audio performances, while also considering the musical implications of using each recording and editing technique.

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With audio and MIDI tracks in place, students will move on to learn mixing techniques using Cubase's powerful EQ, audio effects, and full automation to create a well-crafted production ready to be distributed on CD, streamed online, and as a data file in various professional and consumer formats. Whether you are producing music for song demos, recording your band's album, or scoring music for film or TV, Cubase has all the right tools for the job. Each lesson in the course focuses on using specific tools to achieve a desired musical result. Weekly assignments provide hands-on experience to give you the confidence to move forward in creating great sounding productions.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Configure and customize your Cubase environment
  • Record and edit MIDI and audio files
  • Use audio loops in your productions, including creating custom loops from your original recorded material
  • Understand the process of equalization and apply effects processors such as reverb, delay, chorusing, and compression to enhance your production
  • Manipulate your project's key and form using advanced tools such as the Play Order Track
  • Use Cubase's flexible mixing console and cutting edge tools to create professional sounding mixes

Berklee Online and Steinberg have come together to offer an educational discount on Cubase software. Once you enroll in the course, you will be able to purchase the software at the discounted price through the Required Course Materials link on your My Home page. Early enrollment is encouraged to ensure software delivery prior to the start of the course. Depending on the shipping option chosen, software delivery could take up to eight business days. Read Less

Syllabus

Lesson 1: Cubase Overview

  • What Can You Do with Cubase?
  • Recording Basics
  • Installing Cubase
  • Introduction to the Work Environments of Cubase
  • Additional Resources for Help

Lesson 2: Track and File Management

  • Types of Files Used in Cubase
  • Importing and Exporting Files
  • Starting a New Project
  • Project Settings
  • VST Connections

Lesson 3: MIDI Sequencing and Virtual Instruments

  • MIDI Overview
  • Virtual Instruments
  • The Transport and Metronome
  • Recording MIDI

Lesson 4: Editing and Modifying MIDI Performances

  • MIDI Tracks and Parts in the Arrange Window
  • Editing in the Key Editor
  • Edit In-Place, the List Editor, and MIDI Modifiers
  • The Tempo Track Editor

Lesson 5: Recording Audio

  • Audio Recording Basics—Microphones and Pickups
  • Recording and Editing an Audio Track
  • Editing a Drum Groove
  • Phase Relationships
  • Saving Your File for Posting

Lesson 6: Mixing and Equalization

  • Mixer Signal Flow
  • Starting a Mix
  • The Equalizer

Lesson 7: Using Effects Processors in Your Mix

  • Time-Based Effects Processors
  • Dynamic Processors
  • Modulation and Other Effects

Lesson 8: VST Instruments and Automation

  • The VST Rack
  • Automation
  • Freezing

Lesson 9: Sample Editing and Loop-Based Music Production

  • A Brief Definition and History of Sampling and Looping
  • The Sample Editor and Looping, Part 1
  • The Sample Editor and Looping, Part 2

Lesson 10: Working with Your Project's Form

  • Musical Form and Cubase Markers
  • The Arranger Track
  • The Transpose Track

Lesson 11: Preparing Your Project for Mixing and Exporting Your Mix

  • Preparing to Mix
  • Track Duplicate and Nudge Tools
  • Folder Tracks
  • Subgroups
  • Disabling and Freezing Tracks
  • Mixing Audio Files

Lesson 12: Customizing and Managing Your Cubase Environment

  • Final Touches—Mastering Your Mix
  • Templates and Key Commands
  • Remote Controls
  • Backing Up Your Files

Requirements

Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements 

Students should have a basic working knowledge of either Macintosh or Windows computer systems. No prior knowledge of Cubase is required; however, you should have a basic foundation in music theory.

Required Textbook(s)

  • None required

Software Requirements

  • Cubase Pro 8 or higher (Please note that if taking the course for credit, the Pro version of Cubase is required. If taking the course for non-credit, Cubase Artist or Elements are acceptable but there will be limitations in the course experience.)

Hardware Requirements

  • MIDI keyboard with a minimum 25 keys (i.e. Yamaha KX25)
  • Audio interface

After enrolling, please check the Getting Started section of your course for potential deals on required materials. Our Student Deals page also features several discounts you can take advantage of as a current student. Please contact support@online.berklee.edu for any questions.


General Course Requirements

Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in live chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course. 

Mac Users

PC Users

All Users

  • Latest version of  Google Chrome
  • Zoom meeting software (available in the course when joining your first chat)
  • Webcam
  • Speakers or headphones
  • External or internal Microphone
  • Broadband Internet connection

Instructors

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Author & Instructor

James Ross Ramsay, faculty in the Piano department at Berklee College of Music, has been teaching piano for 25 years, and has been included in the "Who's Who List of American Teachers" several times. He composes and produces music for local and nationally broadcast television, radio, cable, and video programs, and has been a featured soloist on piano and keyboards with various artists touring throughout the United States and Europe. Ramsay is a product specialist and clinician for Yamaha Corporation of America, Digital Musical Instruments, and Pro Audio Division. He received a Bachelor of Music from Berklee College of Music in 1986.


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Instructor

Kevin is a Berklee Film Scoring (’05) alum that has worked as the U.S.A west coast product specialist for Steinberg’s Cubase for the last 6 years. He frequently gives master classes, clinics and demos at some of Los Angeles' top studios and production facilities such as Remote Control Productions (Hans Zimmer), Warner Brothers, Music and Motion Productions and Westlake Pro. He has a vast amount of experience in film composition, song and remix production as well as invaluable music and entertainment industry experience. Primarily, Kevin is a film, video game, and tv composer and has worked on a variety of projects including the recently released biopic “Pele - 2016”, “The Legend of Hercules - 2014”, “The Hundred Foot Journey - 2014”, “Million Dollar Arm - 2014”, a soon to be released X box game, and ABC television shows. In addition to his frequent collaborations with A.R. Rahman (Oscar Award Winning Composer for “Slumdog Millionaire - 2009”), Kevin is developing a new gestured based musical instrument with Intel Corp. and was featured at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) with Intel’s CEO.

Questions?

Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at advisors@online.berklee.edu.

We can also answer basic questions in the comments below. Please note that all comments are public.

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